A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 24, 2013
Monkey Court (monkey business + kangaroo court)

"Monkey court” is an infrequently used term, usually simply a mistake for the term “kangaroo court”—any official proceeding where fair rules and impartial justice aren’t followed. “Monkey court” might be a blend of “monkey business” and “kangaroo court.” Also, the famous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925 might have had some influence on the “monkey court” term.

“She charges she was arrested on an illegal warrant, tried in a monkey court in Chappell’s home and sent to jail without benefit of attorney or any semblance of accepted judicial procedure” was cited in print in 1955. “MONKEY COURT - BANANA REPUBLIC” was cited on Twitter on July 11, 2013. Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) said in a Congressional hearing about the problems of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") in October 2013, “No, I will not yield to this monkey court or whatever.”


Google News Archive
9 July 1955, The News-Sentinel (Rochester, IN), “Guilty Until Proved Innocent,” pg. 1, col. 6:
INDIANAPOLIS (INS)—
(...)
She charges she was arrested on an illegal warrant, tried in a monkey court in Chappell’s home and sent to jail without benefit of attorney or any semblance of accepted judicial procedure.

Google Books
Workshop on Teaching Federal Taxation
By the Association of American Law Schools, Fund for Public Policy Research.
Washington, DC: Association of American Law Schools
1981
Pg. 23:
Somebody said I don’t like the idea of being called up before any monkey court, and people clapped.

Twitter
Pim Té
‏@chezpim
Laura Ling & Euna Lee sentenced to 12 years labor by N.Korea monkey court. My heart goes out to them and their families http://bit.ly/UkuE9
11:27 PM - 7 Jun 09

Google Books
Queer to the Corps:
A Novel Because the Truth Hurts

By Sue Nugent
United States: S. Nugent
2011
Pg. 122:
Immediately, her boyfriend, a fellow Marine, was accused. His treatment and the case that followed were typical of the monkey court system throughout the Marine Corps.

Twitter
donald cline
‏@donaldcline1
Roberts saved the Supreme Court from becoming a monkey court that has to do whatever party is in power. http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/conservatives-turn-roberts-supreme-court-health-care-ruling-184226194.html … via @YahooNews
6:35 PM - 16 Jul 12

Twitter
FloridaJayhawk
‏@HouseCracka
THE STATE OF FLORIDA JUST DROPPED A BOMB ON ZIMMERMAN LAWYERS AT 7:30AM - FLORIDA BUSTED - MONKEY COURT - BANANA REPUBLIC!
7:31 AM - 11 Jul 13

The Atlantic Wire
Congressman Lashes Out in Obamacare Hearing: This Is a ‘Monkey Court!’
PHILIP BUMP OCT 24, 2013
Decorum broke down during the contentious House hearing over the buggy Healthcare.gov website on Thursday morning. Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas charged the witnesses with a violation of the law; New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone pushed back, calling the hearing a “monkey court.”
(...)
Pallone: I started out in my opening statement saying there was no legitimacy to this hearing and the last line of the questioning certainly confirms is that.

HIPAA only applies when there’s health information being provided. That’s not in play here today. No health information is required in the application process. And why is that? Because pre-existing conditions don’t matter! So once again, here we have my Republican colleagues trying to scare everybody —

Barton, interrupting: If the gentleman will yield?

Pallone: No, I will not yield to this monkey court or whatever —

Barton: This is not a monkey court!


The Right Scoop
Angry Congressman calls Obamacare website hearing a ‘monkey court’
Posted by The Right Scoop The Right Scoop on October 24th, 2013
(Video.—ed.)
Just imagine if any Republican were to have ever made that comment? They’d surely be racist! But Democrats are so full of love and compassion for mankind there can be no racism in them. So they are allowed to say things like this.

Twitter
Valenta
‏@JiriLeniValenta
Shall we rename Congressional hearings “The monkey court?” Isn’t monkey business primarily in the Senate?
1:11 PM - 24 Oct 13

Twitter
Ben Zimmer
‏@bgzimmer
So is “monkey court” an idiom blend, combining “monkey business” and “kangaroo court”? http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/10/congressman-lashes-out-about-healthcaregov-hearing-monkey-court/70896/ … via @pbump
3:15 PM - 24 Oct 13

Twitter
Doug Kempf
‏@dougkempf
That thing about monkey court today in congress: I think he meant kangaroo court. He got his mammals confused. #Australia not #Africa
6:37 PM - 24 Oct 13 from San Diego, CA

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Thursday, October 24, 2013 • Permalink